Is a New Swimming Pool a Good Investment?

by Pool Builders on 03-10-2011 in Articles

You've just bought a new home. First, thing is first. You install a new in-ground swimming pool. The neighbor told you that a pool is a good investment. He told you you'll get most of your money from a pool once you sell, as they are in demand. Do you think this is true?

Let me tell you a true story about a home that I just appraised. The home was a brand new home. The floor plan was typical for those in the neighborhood. The only difference from other homes is that the home that I was appraising offered an in-ground pool.

The home was a vinyl and cultured stone sided home with 1500 square feet on the main level and 1500 square feet in the basement. The home was new construction and the home was well cared for. The design and appeal was average. The home and the neighborhood was average or a typical family home.

Comparable sales in this area were plentiful and easy to find. The value of all of the homes in the immediate market area and the listings in the immediate market area that offered the same square footage, design and appeal and garage count were selling for around $215,000.

There were no comparable sales in the area that offered in-ground swimming pools. I had to locate comparable sales outside the immediate market area to confirm value and marketability for in-ground swimming pools. Guess what? For homes in this price range and square footage there were only two sales. These two sales did not support any better value than the sales in the immediate market area.

The home was listed for almost a year and a half. The home did not sell and was now in the process of foreclosure. The problem is that it is not typical for homes in this price range to offer swimming pools, so it is difficult to support value. The owner needed to sell the home at the price he paid for the home plus the full cost of the installation of the in-ground swimming pool. Regardless what the experts tell you, in most markets you will never get the full dollar for dollar amount for any improvements and especially when it comes to an in-ground swimming pool.

The moral of the story is to never, never assume that a swimming pool is a good investment or that you'll get your money back when you sell, especially if you live in the Northwest.

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